Custom fitted compression garments enhance recovery from muscle damage in rugby players

Freddy Brown, Owen Jeffries, Conor Gissane, Glyn Howatson, Ken van Someren, Charles Pedlar, Tony Meyers, Jessica Hill

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Abstract

To evaluate the effects of custom-fitted compression garments (CG) on recovery from muscle damage in rugby players. Forty-five players were tested for lower-body strength, power, and indices of muscle damage before completing a damaging protocol (20 × 20-m sprints with 5-m deceleration, 100 drop jumps). Players were randomly assigned to wear either custom-fitted (CF, n = 13), or standard-sized CG (SSG, n = 16), or to receive sham ultrasound therapy (CON, n = 16) immediately after exercise. Players were retested immediately, then after 24 and 48 hours. Strength recovery was significantly different between groups (F = 2.7, p = 0.02), with only CF recovering to baseline values by 48 hours (p = 0.973). Time × condition effects were also apparent for creatine kinase activity (χ2 = 30.4, p < 0.001) and midthigh girth (F = 3.7, p = 0.005), with faster recovery apparent in CF compared with both CON and SSG (p < 0.05). Custom-fitted CG improved strength recovery and indices of muscle damage in rugby players, compared with controls and standard-sized garments. Athletes and coaches would be advised to use appropriately fitted CG to enhance strength recovery after damaging exercise.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Early online date21 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Feb 2020

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